Driver Plows into Crowd Outside London Mosque

Claudine Rigal
Juin 19, 2017

The 48-year old van driver, described by witnesses as a large white man, was held by members of the public before being arrested by police.

"I think it's also something, in the case of Islamophobia, there are extremists again who are driving hatred, who are using language about cleansing Britain of Islam, who are talking about a final solution for Muslims", he said.

Earlier this month, eight people were killed at London Bridge, some of whom were hit by a van, and others stabbed by the three attackers. Two of them are seriously injured.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to serve in that position, said extra police would be deployed.

"It appears that a white man in a van intentionally ploughed into a group of worshippers who were already tending to someone who had been taken ill", the council said in a statement.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said police are investigating whether the death of the man getting first aid was a direct result of the attack, but it was too early to say for sure.

The incident Monday follows two deadly attacks in London in which pedestrians were deliberately mowed down by vehicles; in Westminster in March and the London Bridge attack earlier this month.

Another witness, who wanted to be identified as Abdulrahman, which is not his real name, told the Press Association: "I managed to get the driver of the van".

"Richard and I will attend prayers at Finsbury Park mosque later today". We work a lot together so to have this happen this morning is just bad but we will continue to work very closely together, this won't stop us doing that. The driver has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. "There were at least two others who looked to be in a very bad way", he added.

The group's general secretary, Harun Khan, said that eyewitnesses saw the van driver hit a number of Muslims.

"I offer my condolences to the family and friends of the man who has died, and our thoughts are with the people who have been injured, their family and friends".

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, has complained that the "mainstream media" was unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

The Prime Minister spoke outside 10 Downing Street following a meeting with security officials and ministers in the Government's Cobra emergency committee in Whitehall.

The Finsbury Park Mosque opened in 1994 and became a hotbed of Islamist militants, including Zacarias Moussaoui, a Frenchman convicted of conspiring to kill Americans as part of the September 11, 2001, attacks, and Richard Reid, who attempted to down a US jetliner in late 2001 with explosives packed in his shoes.

In 2015, the mosque was one of around 20 that took part in an open day organised by the MCB to promote better understanding of Islam after Islamist-inspired terrorist attacks in Paris.

"Partly I feel anger that someone has tried to undo all of the good work that has been done in Finsbury Park over many, many years by the Muslim Welfare House, Finsbury Park Mosque and all of the local community".

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd says police "immediately" treated a fatal incident outside a London mosque as a suspected terrorist attack. "All of our efforts should be towards getting justice for the victims and ensuring our community stays the diverse, tolerant and welcome place we know it to be". "We are working as hard as we can to protect all our communities, and we will not be defeated".

Police, including armed officers, could be seen manning a wide cordon around the area.

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